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Incidental music to Electra (Preview)

  • Text
  • Electra
  • Music
  • Williams
by Ralph Vaughan Williams | Orchestra and chorus

TEXT 1. ONWARD, O

TEXT 1. ONWARD, O LABOURING TREAD Electra Onward, O labouring tread, As on move the years; Onward amid thy tears, O happier dead! Electra – Spoken Let me remember. I am she, Agamemnon’s child, and the mother of me Clytemnestra, the evil Queen, Helen’s sister. And folk, I ween, That pass in the streets call yet my name Electra…. God protect my shame! For toil, toil is a weary thing, And life is heavy about my head; And thou far off, O Father and King, In the lost lands of the dead. A bloody twain made these things be; One was thy bitterest enemy, And one the wife that lay by thee. Electra Brother, brother, on some far shore Hast thou a city, is there a door That knows thy footfall, Wandering One? Who left me, left me, when all our pain Was bitter about us, a father slain, And a girl that wept in her room alone. Thou couldst break me this bondage sore, Only thou, who art far away, Loose our father, and wake once more…. Zeus, Zeus, dost hear me pray?… The sleeping blood and the shame and the doom! O feet that rest not, over the foam Of distant seas, come home, come home! Electra – Spoken What boots this cruse that I carry? O, set free my brow! For the gathered tears that tarry Through the day and the dark till now, PEV03 – x

Now in the dawn are free, Father, and flow beneath The floor of the world, to be As a song in the house of Death: From the rising up of the day They guide my heart alway, The silent tears unshed, And my body mourns for the dead; My cheeks bleed silently, And these bruised temples keep Their pain, remembering thee And thy bloody sleep. Be rent, O hair of mine head! Electra As a swan crying alone Where the river windeth cold, For a loved, for a silent one, Whom the toils of the fowler hold, I cry, Father, to thee, O slain in misery! The water, the wan water, Lapped him, and his head Drooped in the bed of slaughter Low, as one wearièd; Woe for the edgèd axe, And woe for the heart of hate, Houndlike about thy tracks, O conqueror desolate, From Troy over land and sea, Till a wife stood waiting thee; Electra – Spoken Not with crowns did she stand, Nor flowers of peace in her hand; With Aegisthus’ dagger drawn For her hire she strove, Through shame and through blood alone; And won her a traitor’s love. Chorus Child of the mighty dead, Electra, PEV03 – xi

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Electra Incidental Music Vaughan Williams